Flickr/Sam Anvari

Despite its reputation, Iran's capital city holds secret charms

You could be forgiven for reading the news out of Tehran—protests (and brutal oppression thereof), morality police, first place honors as the smoggiest capital—and crossing it right off your to-visit list. 

But writer Azadeh Moaveni says you'd be making a mistake. Moaveni, who spent her childhood in California, rediscovered her ancestral home as a young journalist in the late 1990s. She has lived in Tehran on and off for six years, eventually writing two books about her time there.

In her own words, Moaveni explains why, in spite of everything, she loves the complicated Iranian capital.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. Environment

    What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

    New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

  3. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  4. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

  5. a photo of a BYD-built electric bus.
    Transportation

    A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

    Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.

×